Stradivaruis v Trueshan v Kyprios ... classic Goodwood Cup in prospect

A host of equine stars are on course for the Qatar Goodwood Festival after the entries were revealed for seven key races, including the £600,000 Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes and £500,000 Group 1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

Hugely popular stayer Stradivarius (John & Thady Gosden) is set to make his final appearance in the G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on Tuesday, July 26. The eight-year-old created history in 2020 by becoming the first four-time winner of the two-mile highlight and connections have indicated that this year’s race is likely to be his last.

A 26-strong entry includes 2021 winner Trueshan for Alan King as well as Ascot Gold Cup one-two Kyprios (Aidan O’Brien) and Mojo Star (Richard Hannon). Roger Varian’s Queen’s Vase scorer Eldar Eldarov is also engaged alongside last season’s Prix Royal Oak victor Scope (Ralph Beckett).

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Classic winners are to the fore in the 10-furlong Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes on Thursday, July 28, with Aidan O’Brien’s Oaks winner Tuesday and Prix de Diane heroine Nashwa (John & Thady Gosden) featuring among the 30 entries.

Stradivarius at Royal Ascot - and he's now set to head for Goodwood / Picture: Malcolm Wells

Inspiral (John & Thady Gosden) could also step beyond a mile for the first time following her devastating success in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, while the older fillies and mares are headed by Ed Walker’s Prix d’Ispahan scorer Dreamloper.

There is a cosmopolitan feel to the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes on Friday, July 29, with 36 entries from five countries – Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Ireland and the USA. French filly Suesa, trained by Francois Rohaut, was a class apart in the five-furlong sprint last year and could return for a repeat success.

The Henry Candy-trained Twilight Calls is the pick of the home team after his second in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes, while Flying Five Stakes heroine Romantic Proposal (Eddie Lynam) headlines the Irish contenders. Breeders’ Cup winner Twilight Gleaming, from the stable of Wesley Ward, could line up for the United States.

Alpinista (Sir Mark Prescott) and Eshaada (Roger Varian) are the leading lights in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes on Saturday, July 30, for which there are 32 fillies and mares engaged. Alpinista captured three Group 1 prizes in Germany in 2021 during an unbeaten campaign, while Eshadaa ended the season with victory in the British Champions Fillies And Mares’ Stakes on Champions Day.

Stradivaruis was beaten by Kyprios at Ascot but the two - plus other rivals - will go head to head at Goodwood if all goes to plan / Picture: Malcolm Wells

Platinum Jubilee Stakes runner-up Creative Force (Charlie Appleby) could bid to go one better in the Group 2 World Pool Lennox Stakes on Tuesday, July 26, having been touched off by Kinross (Ralph Beckett) last year. The 34 entries for the seven-furlong contest also include Andrew Balding’s reigning Qatar Sussex Stakes heroine Alcohol Free and Breeders’ Cup Mile victor Order Of Australia (Aidan O’Brien).

Entries also closed for the two feature handicaps of the meeting – the £250,000 Coral Stewards’ Cup on Saturday, July 30 and £150,000 Coral Golden Mile on Friday, July 29.

There is Swedish representation in the Coral Stewards’ Cup (107 entries) courtesy of the Jessica-Long trained Good Eye, who won a Listed race in Germany on his latest start, while Royal Hunt Cup victor Dark Shift (Charlie Hills) is among 62 entries for the Coral Golden Mile.

Ed Arkell, Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course, said: “I am very pleased with the entries. I think all the horses you would hope to see in there have been entered.

“I think the Qatar Nassau Stakes, which as people know I am very fond of, looks excellent and the Qatar Goodwood Cup could be an absolute epic if everybody turns up.

“I am very pleased to see international horses among the entries and the King George Qatar Stakes looks particularly strong in that regard, with five countries represented. It would be nice to see the Swedish horse come over for the Coral Stewards’ Cup as well.”

He added: “We only finished racing here on Friday evening, so we are doing the usual maintenance work on the track to make sure it is top condition come the Qatar Goodwood Festival. I think, like everybody else, we would appreciate a drop of rain at some point.”